Mission and Goals
The mission of the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies is to equip Judson University students with the skills and knowledge necessary for robust engagement with the Christian tradition. The department exists to serve two constituencies. It offers majors and minors to students wishing to develop advanced skills and knowledge in preparation for seminary or graduate study or as a liberal arts foundation in preparation for a variety of professions. The department also contributes vital courses to the university’s general education core curriculum.
The department contributes to the university’s role as "the Church at work in higher education" by providing a personal intellectual encounter with the Christian revelation through critical engagement with Scripture and significant reflection upon the Christian tradition in a dynamic liberal arts environment. While recognizing the integration of faith and learning in all departments, Biblical and Theological Studies plays a distinct role by explicitly providing the biblical and theological resources necessary to become "articulate proponents of Biblical Christianity."
Goals for each of our majors, Biblical Studies and Theological Studies, include the following:
- to argue ideas and conclusions coherently, logically and self-critically, demonstrating a high degree of fair-minded judgement while likewise offering a measure of Christian charity and respect to those with whom one disagrees.
- to analyze seminal texts and discern the importance and quality of the arguments therein in light of related literary, historical, cultural, ecclesial, wider intellectual and global contexts, and communicate this effectively in writing and in group situations.
- to engage competently in religious and associated intellectual discussions through guided and increasingly self-directed study and inquiry which uses appropriately the primary and secondary literature and related tools of the discipline.
- to respond creatively and imaginatively to issues arising in theological scholarship in ways which reflect an informed and sensitive awareness of both originating and current contexts.
- to articulate coherently, and especially in writing, the contours and vital substance of the Christian story in a way that is biblically informed, historically and theologically aware, and globally and locally located while discerning critically and sympathetically therein a range of alternative views and perspectives.
- to evaluate the nature of religious belief and practice and discern the roles these play in shaping and directing personal and corporate life in various cultural settings, both historical and contemporary.
- to articulate in a nuanced way, especially written, how the ideas, beliefs and practices being studied have previously, and have the potential to shape continually, the life of the Church and the spiritual formation of persons.
As such, we seek to prepare students majoring or minoring in our programs with skills necessary for graduate study in a variety of disciplines and professional engagement. Likewise, we seek to contribute to the intellectual and spiritual formation of students through the university’s general education core curriculum and other campus programs. Faculty members individually participate in various forms of academic research, campus service, and community involvement, and we continue to explore possibilities for further engagement with the campus and community.